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Kotz, Tadeusz

Date of birth:
August 9th, 1913 (Grabanów, Poland)
Date of death:
June 3rd, 2008 (Collingwood/Ontario, Canada)


Service number P0696.

Tadeusz Kotz was born in Grabanów as Tadeusz Koc. He is the son of rich farmers. During his secondary education he completed a glider course at the Aircraft Plant in Biala Podlaska. Having graduated from a secondary school and completed a military course, he joined the Air Force Cadet Officers School in Deblin, from which he graduated in 1937. Later, he served in the Polish Air Force as a fighter pilot. During the Invasion of Poland in 1939, Kotz fought with the 161 Eskadra and shot down his first enemy Messerschmitt on 2 September 1939, while piloting a PZL P.11 airplane. On September 16th he shot down a Soviet reconnaissance bomber Polikarpov R-5.
After Poland was defeated, Kotz was ordered to evacuate to Romania along with other pilots. He escaped via Yugoslavia and Greece to France, and then to the UK to serve with the Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain. He was one of the pilots in No. 303 Squadron, flying a Spitfire. Later, he became a Squadron Leader of 303 Squadron. In 1943, Kotz was shot down in Northern France, but evaded capture and returned to England via German occupied France, Spain and Gibraltar to continue to fight until the end of war. He was demobilized in 1948.
He married and settled to Swaziland in Africa but returned to England after a year and then moved to Collingwood in Canada where he spent the remainder of his life. He published a book of memoirs "Blue sky and real bullets" in 2005.

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Second World War (1939-1945)
no. 8495
Order Wojenny Virtuti Militari - Krzyz Srebrny